A crossover between Ella Enchanted and Merlin.
My eyes fluttered open, only to be blinded by sunlight. I squinted as my vision began to adjust. Pain sprouted from a spot at the back of my head; however I could not pinpoint the exact place. My hand flew to the aching bump that was beginning to form.
I pushed myself up into a sitting position. I was surrounded by lush green trees, almost as tall as the king's palace and certainly as tall as or taller than my former manor. Of course that belonged to the dwarves now. I didn't think on it much, though.
Where am I? I furrowed my brow. Something pricked my scalp. I pulled a few small bits of leaves and a little dirt out of the strands. My eyes continued to flit about. I saw now why there had been so much light. Chuckling to myself, I identified a me-shaped hole in the canopy. How did this happen? It had to be some form of magic. I must have fallen from quite a height. It was a wonder I was not in the least bit hurt from it.
The goose-egg on my head did not count, because I knew what had caused it. I knew. I knew. I knew! I tried to recall it from my memory, but it was fuzzy. The bump had been caused the last time I was awake before I found myself in this forest.
I had been in the castle, yes. I had been there. The dining room was set. I remember dining with Char, and his parents, but I couldn't recall anything past the moment when the servant came into the room.
I struggled to my feet and dusted off my back end. Where should I go? There was absolutely no way to tell. I figured at that point that there was nowhere to go but on, so I simply started walking in the direction I had been facing. I hoped that had chosen right.
I pushed past thorns, and ferns. Up and down hills. Over boulders and beyond logs. It was not until I reached the brook that something changed. The land on the other side of that brook was different. It was more trodden on. There was less undergrowth. The brook was babbling loudly as it crashed over the bed. I heard the crack of a twig, but only faintly.
My head snapped in the direction of the noise. I stepped over to where I thought the source of the disturbance had been. My fingers pulled the nearest fern out of the way. Nothing was there.
"Who's following me?" I whispered.
No one revealed themselves. It must have just been an animal. None the less I remained on my guard. I took a few steps back, and hurtled the sunken brook. I continued on my walk. The footsteps never ceased. My journey continued to head uphill. It got rockier and rockier as time passed. I heard the footsteps again. This time furious at whoever was stalking me. I saw only the glimpse of red and then nothing.
Then an arrow sailed past my face. I whipped my head around, black hair flying. They had crossed the line
I bellowed in frustration, "SHOW YOURSELF!"
Two men stepped out of the trees. One with sandy hair, wearing a bulk of armor and chainmail. And the other with dark hair and piercing blue eyes.
The one with the armor stepped forward and bowed, "I beg your pardon-"
I cut right through his words, too furious to care, "No problem really! You only just about KILLED ME! Don't you have ANY respect for the wife of a prince?"
The words poured out of me, but the last sentence is what I hadn't seen coming. I waivered as a second of memory came to me.
Char's face in front of mine, "Go! GO! Save yourself!" He yelled.
"I am not leaving you!" I screamed over the sound of screams and battle.
I pulled myself out of the reminiscence. I seemed to have had a time lapse. The two men were at my sides. The one with the darker hair placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Are you alright?" He asked in a concerned voice.
"Get off of me! Where's Char? What have you done with him?" I roared.
The two men looked at each other, and then the one with the sandy hair spoke, "Lady, I apologize for anything that I might have done. Okay? I am Prince Arthur."
I snapped back at him, "There is no 'Prince Arthur' in Kyrria! Tell me what you've done with Char!"
The so called 'prince' gritted his teeth, his face turning a rather unflattering shade of cherry.
The other man held a hand in front of him, and spoke first in a calm voice, "Miss, I do not know where you've come from. I do not know who 'Char' is. You are in Camelot, now. This is our prince, Prince Arthur. I am his… manservant Merlin. Do not fear us."
"If what you say is true, then how did I get here?" I asked calming down a little. I was no longer on guard.
"I do not know," Merlin spoke. His voice was soothing, and that helped.
"Merlin, Prince Arthur, I hate to waste your time, but I must get back to Kyrria. There is something horrible going on. It is my duty as wife of the Prince to help my kingdom," I announced, thinking of my memory.
"You are a Princess?" Arthur inquired, seeming suddenly interested.
"No. I am the wife of the Prince. I am the Court Linguist. I am the Cook's helper, as well," I explained.
"Being the wife of the prince does mean you are a princess," Stated Merlin.
"I refuse to go by that title."
"Who is the prince?" Arthur asked.
"And who are you?" Arthur questioned.
"I am Ella of Frell. Please, sirs. If I may, I must leave now," I insisted.
"Frell?" Merlin asked.
"Yes… You do know how to get there… don't you?" My voice began to waver with fear.
"I have heard of no such land," Merlin answered. "I am sorry."
"It does exist… there was Char… and Mandy, the Queen and King, my father, Lucinda, and… and…" I found myself listing every person I had known from my home.
The two men kept their gaze on me as if I was delirious.
Merlin spoke first, "Lady… we must get you in bed…"
"But my kingdom needs me… Char is…" my voice faded as another memory surfaced.
"I beg of you, Ella! GO, Go!" Char was pleading now.
"I will stay by your side!" I swore.
I grabbed a decorative, and also deadly sharp, sword off the wall and ran out to face the horrible masked men. The scent of lavender caught me, and I stopped. Lucinda had lost her young face once more. With tears in her eyes, she began to speak.
"This cannot happen, Ella! I must break my vows… I will use VERY big magic. You must go away! To another world! I will bring you back when all is right again!" She announced.
"NO!" I shrieked.
One of the ogres heard my cry, and came barreling towards me. His club outstretched. He was coming from across the room, but he would no doubt reach me before I could take neccisary measures. I screamed as loud as I could. Char heard me.
His head turned to look at me, and he took off in my direction. I saw the arrow before it even left the bow. With a silver tip, aimed for his heart, the arrow was released. I started to cry even before it made contact. Blood started to sprout from Char's torso.
"Ella…" he croaked.
Then he went silent… his eyes out of focus, frozen. They stared blankly on forever. I started to run, but it was as though something was sucking me backwards. I turned to Lucinda, who had already cast the spell. I screamed in agony. Then a swirling vortex of colors opened up behind me and took me from the world.
I blinked a few times, and my knees buckled. Tears began to swim in my vision. I had heard Lucinda. I had been taken from my world. Char was dead as well. I allowed myself to fall backwards.
Merlin yelled, "Ella!"
"I remember now," I whispered. "She used big magic. She promised she wouldn't use big magic. Here I am. As she said. In another world."
Arthur's face filled with rage again, "Who is this sorceress?"
I shook my head, then continued to talk to myself, even though I stared at Merlin, "And Char is dead. He can't be dead, but he is. Char died. He is… gone."
"Can you walk?" Merlin questioned.
I nodded and pushed myself to my feet, still somewhat off balance. I wasn't really paying attention to where I was going. I allowed my vision to go foggy. I followed behind the pair of men. They walked to the right, over to a pair of horses.
"Merlin," Arthur commanded. "Let the lady ride your horse. You can walk beside it."
"That would be rude of me. I cannot accept," I insisted, with my last ounce of moral fiber.
"You are a Princess. I would have it no other way," Arthur spoke, gesturing towards the horse.
Merlin tried to help me up, but I shook him off, and swung my leg over myself. Merlin then scampered to the front of my horse. With a lurching trot, the horses moved out. Being left to my thoughts proved to be worse than making idle conversation, but I couldn't bring myself to open my mouth and speak the words that were required for a 'chat' such as the one I dreamt up.
I was glad when an enormous castle revealed itself over the hills. It was as large as my home back in Kyrria, yet it still took my breath away. It was a magnificent place. As we drew closer, Arthur began asking questions.
"Maiden," he began. "What's your name?"
"Ella," I answered.
"Princess Ella. Not Eleanor?" Arthur clarified
"Yes, but I insist on being called Ella," I instructed
"What kingdom do you come from?" He inquired.
"Kyrria," I responded absentmindedly.
"You said that there was 'something horrible' going on in your kingdom. Care to add to that?"
"We were ambushed while having dinner. My husband, Prince Charmont…well… I call him Char… he was killed. I am not sure about the king and queen though. I am worried about them."
"That is reasonable," He replied in monotone. I rolled my eyes. "How did you get here?"
"Lucinda sent me."
"Is she a sorceress?"
Lucinda was a fairy, but you could call her a sorceress so I answered with a curt, "Yes, Your highness."
"Are you a sorceress, Princess Ella?"
He had to be joking, but by the tone of his voice suggested otherwise. I almost laughed out loud.
Instead I replied with, "Certainly not."
His shoulders seemed to relax, but he still kept his posture, "Thank you, Princess Eleanor. We will meet with the king tonight and assist in catching Lucinda. I can only hope you return home very soon without the aid of magic."
"I am not sure that is possible… and sire?"
"Yes Princess?" Arthur turned to look over his shoulder.
"Please just call me Ella, your highness. Just Ella."
"Then call me Arthur. Or Prince Arthur, whichever you find suits me."
I nodded. We approached the front gates to meet four guards in our path. Not guards like we have at home, which are for precaution and nothing more. These are real guards; warriors trained for battle. I could tell by their full armor, red crested capes, menacing spears, and stiff faces that they did not belong to a peaceful carefree kingdom.
I the guards stepped aside at our approach. Just to be courteous, I smiled and gave a head-bow to each of them as we passed. Merlin chuckled. The smile remained on my face. The archway opened up into a glorious courtyard. People stared, something that I've gotten used to after a year of being a Princess. The horses trotted up to a long set of steps, then came to a halt.
Arthur dismounted and strode over to help me down. Instead of accepting his hand, I swung my leg over the horse and dismounted by myself.
"No offense, sire," I smiled.
He pursed his lips, but nodded and offered his arm, instead. I got the extremely strong impression that Arthur was an arrogant person. I could see the steadfast pride in his eyes. I obliged him this once, and placed my hand on his arm, then stumbled over the first step. I straightened up, sighing.
Even in a new world, I was still me. Still clumsy as ever. I looked back at Arthur, who was giving me the classic 'what have I gotten into this time' look. It was one I had no doubt seen many times before. I huffed again and continued on up the steps. I heard the chuckle from behind me, and knew that it was Merlin.
I couldn't hold back my smile.
"I certainly wasn't born a Princess," I announced to him.
Arthur was less amused. He issued a command to Merlin, "Go put the horses in the stable."
I hated orders, but I know that Arthur wouldn't understand. So we continued up the steps. I glanced at him constantly, in my peripheral vision. We stepped inside the castle. There was a set of steps next to a hallway. A girl with curly brown hair peeked out of a doorway down the hall and furrowed her brow at the sight of me. I smiled at her, as Arthur led me up the steps.
We stopped in front of a magnificent pair of great wooden doors, guarded by another pair of warriors, brandishing spears.
"Stay here," Arthur commanded.
I scowled. After fifteen years of being under an enchantment where I had to obey such orders, I hated the sound of them. The prince gave me a curious look, starting at my face. He shook it off and opened the doors, closing them behind him. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs.
Merlin appeared, sprinting so fast he almost knocked me over. I swayed, placing my hand on his shoulder for support.
"You sure were coming quick!" I commented.
"I want to watch this!" He announced.
"Okay. I must warn you, I am the clumsiest princess anyone has ever seen."
"I figured that… No disrespect of course!"
"I didn't take offense."
I smiled at him, and he smiled back.
I asked a question, "Is Prince Arthur always this stiff?"
"I think you better find that out by yourself," he replied.
"I will, considering I'll be here forever."
The doors opened again and Arthur appeared He gestured inside. I made my way into the room, taking care not to trip again. It was beautifully decorated with red banners of the same crest on the back of Arthur's cape. There was a long dining table, made of the same wood as the door. A man with a thick face, and thinning grey hair sat at the end of the table with a beautifully colored feast head of him.
I curtsied low, sure that this man was the king.
Arthur gestured towards me, "This is Princess Eleanor of Kyrria. She was brought here against her will by a sorceress called Lucinda. She is no sorceress. Her husband, Prince Charmont is dead. We found this lady in the forest during our hunt today."
"Your majesty," I greeted him, my head still low.
"Rise, Princess Eleanor. What do you wish from me?" The king asked.
"I am not so sure, Sire. I do need a place to stay for a while. I will work for my stay," I offered.
"You will be my guest for the time being," He turned to Arthur. "Have your servants fix a room for this princess."
"Thank you, your majesty," I curtsied once more, swaying a little, but refusing to fall.
"Merlin, give Ella a room!" He called.
Merlin smiled. I curtsied to the king, then to Arthur and walked out of the room, tripping the second I was out of the king's sight. Merlin stifled a laugh, and made his way down a hallway. We went up another set of steps. Then one more set. Merlin led me down to the very end of a hall, and opened the door. I could not see inside too far. Merlin flashed his crooked smile and gestured inside.
I smiled and stepped into the room. There was a large four-poster bed, with a red canopy and sheets. A large mahogany dresser and a screen lined the opposite wall. A dining table, half the size of the one in the dining area, was positioned to the right of the bed. There were four high backed chairs surrounding the table. Curtains were pulled back to reveal a large and window with a glorious view. I thanked Merlin and flew to the window. I could see all of Camelot and beyond. It was more beautiful than even my view at home.
There was a knock at the door, and I turned around, "You can come in if you wish."
I rarely commanded anything. The door swung open slowly and the lady with the curly brown hair stepped in, curtsying. She was very beautiful with thin lips and dark tan skin.
"I am Guinevere, servant to Lady Morgana. I will be assisting you, Princess Eleanor," She said in a soft voice.
"Please, call me Ella! I'm glad to meet you!" I walked over toward the girl.
"It is an honor to meet you Princess Ella," She answered.
"No… just Ella. No title, please. I am not a ruler like Arthur. I am not arrogant. I would rather you be my friend than my servant!" I told her.
"Call me Gwen… where are you from?" she asked.
"Kyrria. It is a whole other world," I explained.
"You were brought here by magic?" She questioned.
"Yes. I was. Why don't you sit down? If you have time, that is. I would love to talk to you!"
I smiled, and Gwen smiled back. She sat down in one of the chairs, and I sat across from her.
"Who is the lucky prince?" She asked.
"Prince Charmont, Char. He is dead."
"Dead. I watched it."
"My father died a few weeks ago."
"I am sorry. I understand how hard that is. I lost my mother."
I changed the subject, "Are there any libraries around here? What do you do for fun?"
"Not much. I visit people sometimes."
"Do you have dances here? I love going to dances, believe me, they are quite fun!"
"No. We don't."
"I shall have to fix that, won't I?"
We both laughed. I had just found my first friend in Camelot.